So – by now you’ve figured out that our amazing Special Olympics experience was fueled in large part by Starbucks. Trust me, it’s hard to keep long hours and keep up with 3,000 athletes, 30,000 spectators and 200+ media on a continental breakfast alone… The beauty about our love affair with Starbucks is that it doesn’t end with morning coffees and afternoon pick-me-ups, the company is a GFM client!
I have the pleasure of working on the Starbucks team and believe me, it really is a pleasure (and no, they don’t bribe me with free grande soy chai lattes to say that… hint, hint.) I continue to be amazed at the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. Having a long background in nonprofit work, believe me that I can sniff out a real philanthropist quickly – and Starbucks is the real deal.
Yesterday (Thursday, July 13) we held a press conference to announce a $75,000 gift from Starbucks to Denver Parks and Recreation to revitalize Garfield Lake Park in southwest Denver. One-third of the residents in the area around Garfield Lake Park are under the age of 18, so the park is a real community gathering place for these young kids and their families. Yet, this park that’s so beautiful on the surface really needs a facelift. At the conference we announced revitalization projects that will include resurfacing the basketball court, planting more than 50 trees, installing the first public park-based recycling program, replacing the backstop and many, many more amazing projects that will really make an impact. Volunteers will help us complete many of these projects on August 11 and we’ll “reveal” all the updates to the community with a big park-based celebration on August 12.
With more than 20 Starbucks store managers in attendance we had a great and enthusiastic crowd. On a surprisingly busy news day (that included breaking news in the middle east and a visit to Denver by Katie Couric that coincided with our event), we were able to draw print, radio and broadcast reporters which also made us pretty excited to get the ball rolling!
Special thanks to Kim Bailey from Denver Parks & Recreation and to Rosemary Rodriguez who is current City Council President and District 3 Representative for proving to be amazing and inspirational spokeswomen. Phil Smith, regional marketing manager for Starbucks, did a great job, too. Phil and I shared a laugh about my attention to detail (okay – so it’s more of an obsession…) but I think in the end it all paid off. (Oh, Phil, for the record I had Total cereal with sliced strawberries and soy milk for breakfast. I promised to keep you in the loop!)
We need volunteers to help revitalize the Park on Friday, August 11 – so if you’d like to sign up please call 303.331.4061 or e-mail email@example.com. You can also learn more about Starbucks’ overall commitment to parks by visiting www.starbuckslovesparks.com.
Stay tuned for more updates! And, so you all know all the details, I’ll be having chicken breasts and steamed broccoli for dinner – but I’m still deciding between grilling or baking the chicken. I’ll update you on the next blog entry!